Back Then RSS feed for this section

ESCANABA

… in the limelight BACK THEN • Story by Larry Chabot • Illustrations by Mike McKinney Escanaba! A resilient Yooper city on Lake Michigan that survived the Great Depression, Prohibition, two world wars, health scares, docks on fire, and other threats. Various sources mention that Native Americans first occupied the area 5,000 years ago, the […]

Read more

BACK THEN

When President Bush met the Mighty Mac By Larry Chabot  •  Illustration by Mike McKinney The death last November of George H.W. Bush stirred memories among those who remember one of his visits to the Upper Peninsula. His four trips here tied him for first among the presidential visitors and qualified him as an Honorary […]

Read more

BACK THEN

The year 1958 was never safe, never boring By Larry Chabot (This is the 18th installment in a series looking back 60 years.) California fires, people fleeing Venezuela, deadly hurricanes, personal bombs. Sound familiar? Maybe so, but these events happened 60 years ago, in 1958. Hurricane Helene, with devastating winds up to 150 miles an […]

Read more

GREAT WAR ENDS!

Story by Larry Chabot  •  Illustrations by Mike McKinney One hundred years ago this month, The Great War—the “war to end all wars”—ground to a halt on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 as Germany and the Allies signed an armistice. The headlines blared the news: “People go […]

Read more

SISTER CITIES

  By Larry Chabot No doubt about it: Sister Cities is a living, dynamic nonprofit. Over its 40 years in Marquette, the international agency has provided Marquette residents with opportunities for exotic travel, romance and tragedy, lasting friendships, life-changing experiences and an eye-opening look into other cultures, and it’s never been boring. The seed for […]

Read more

TOUGH TRIP

“No hill too steep, no sand too deep,” U.P. road tested Story by Bryon Ennis When automobiles reached the stage of development where they were no longer referred to as “horseless carriages,” six 1915 Jackson Automobiles made a tortuous journey from the southern portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to the Upper Peninsula. There […]

Read more

UNDERWEAR WAR

1927 was an eventful year By Larry Chabot We’ve survived trade wars, proxy wars and tug-of-wars, but seldom one like the Underwear War waged among Marquette-area clothiers in 1927. Stern & Field started the conflict with $19.50 men’s suits, which unleashed a rash of ads from rivals. The battle changed focus when men’s long underwear […]

Read more

The Year 1918

A time of war, peace, sports heroes and cheesecloth window coverings Cutlines: BT_funeral. World War I, “the war to end all wars,” ended on Nov. 11, 1918. The United States lost nearly 117,000 soldiers during the war. This photo, circa 1918, shows a military funeral procession in downtown Ishpeming. (Photo courtesy of Superior View) Gipp. […]

Read more

Highway Whodunit

The story behind the now ubiquitous center line Cutline: A hand-painted center line helps prevent head-on collisions at Dead Man’s Curve in Marquette County in the early 1900s, the first preventative measure of its kind in the country. By Larry Chabot Here’s a history question: who painted the first center line on a U.S. highway? […]

Read more

Anybody seen my cows?

Story by Larry Chabot Somebody’s cows were missing. A Negaunee-area farmer scanning his fields no longer saw the animals, which had been mooing and munching on pasture goodies. Almost everybody in town knew where the cows were and what they were doing: ambling through neighborhoods, scarfing up shrubbery, flower beds, gardens, even the high school […]

Read more

Bishop Baraga, 150 years later

By Larry Chabot, Photos courtesy of Marquette Regional History Center January 19th marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Bishop Frederic Baraga. The diocese of Marquette, where Baraga was the first bishop, has scheduled a series of events for January 19 to 20 to commemorate the death and celebrate the life of the famed […]

Read more

The White Star

By Amy Gawry Downtown Marquette’s Coachlight Restaurant has been operating under its current name and management for four decades, and is a favorite of many locals. Seeing it as the Coachlight for so long, it may be hard to imagine it as anything else, but the building has housed a number of businesses in its […]

Read more

Bridge, balloon & a prison break

  Story by Larry Chabot Illustrations by Mike McKinney Finally, a bridge over the Mackinac Straits, that five-mile-wide waterway separating Michigan’s two peninsulas! Pre-bridge frustrations abounded, like 15-mile-long lines of hunters waiting to cross, line jumpers paying the penalty as angry drivers picked up offenders’ cars and turned them around, local residents car-sitting (for a […]

Read more

Honoring history

By Larry Chabot The Michigan Iron Industry Museum—a first class museum in a first rate facility—has been educating and entertaining visitors for over 30 years. Regional iron mining history started near here in 1844 with the discovery of iron deposits by surveyor William Burt (who is also credited with inventing the typewriter). Evidence of this […]

Read more

HURLEY

By Larry Chabot If you walk west out of Ironwood and cross the state-line bridge into Wisconsin, you’re on historic Silver Street in Hurley, toughest town on the Iron Range. At its peak during Prohibition (1920-1933), Hurley was home to an estimated 130 illegal bars, many disguised as legitimate store fronts selling candy and fountain […]

Read more